Thursday, December 8, 2011

Preview, 2nd Test, Australia versus New Zealand, Hobart

The first Test of this series, left you feeling as though you had been short changed. Disappointed, watching a New Zealand Team, so insipid in all aspects, and lacking the heart and fight, that so characterises Kiwi Team. Ultimately, allowing an Australian Team to be gifted an embarrassingly easy Test victory


 The same easy victory should be achieved for the hosts here in Hobart. Saving this from being a certainty are the glorious uncertainties of the game, that the host have a sincere understanding of. In the wake of being humiliated in the 1st Test against South Africa, and then remarkably winning the 2nd


So lets dissect the merits of both Teams in this Test


Australia


Likely Team


In the face of many calling for the head of opener Phil Hughes, after yet another display in which his technical deficiencies stood out like a neon sign. The Aussies have resisted the temptation to drop him, and showed a faith in him by naming the 11 as early as yesterday. Leaving the Team with this line up


Hughes, Warner, Khawaja, Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, Haddin, Siddle, Starc, Pattinson, Lyon


The Keys to Australia Winning the Test


After watching the deplorable standard of New Zealand's display in all regards in the 1st Test. Truthfully, to win, all the Aussies have to do is play strong, responsible cricket, and allow the Kiwis to commit cricketing suicide.


If this near certainty does not happen, and indeed the Kiwis play to their ability. Then things might get a little more complicated for Australia


This due to the Team having a very fragile top 4 in its batting, and a bowling unit that showed signs of struggle away from the new ball, and when the Kiwi batsmen were not so giving.


These issues remain. Especially when Hughes was retained in the line up, that even brought a smile to the under fire Kiwi Skipper Ross Taylor's face. On a pitch that might offer assistance to bowlers, the Aussie top order inspires little faith in its ability to survive. Let alone excel!


If, they do click, and become contributors. Then the tourists have a snow balls chance in Hell of winning


For it takes the burden to carry the line up off Michael Clarke and Mike Hussey, and allows then to play with freedom, and more than likely dominate.


As for the bowling, aside from Mitchell Starc, who made us all have our heads in our hands swearing we were still enduring Mitchell Johnson's consistent buffet bowling. The rest of the bowling line up was very adequate.


This was the case, but their jobs were made much easier by some very soft dismissals by the Kiwi batsmen. When the Kiwis did bat responsibly in the 1st innings Dan Vettori and Dean Brownlie partnership, the attack looked clueless in a way to dislodge them.


The Australian's would have taken this on board, and realised that victory in this Test will only be achieved with a more refined and sustained display.


If they show this, victory in this Test, and a series clean sweep is a near on certainty.


New Zealand


Likely Team


After the incompetent, and embarrassing display with the bat in the 1st Test. You could justify in dropping all of the top six. Faith is going to be retained in them, and also support for the bowling unit. Which was big hearted, and at times gave a bit of cheek, but strangely were badly let down in the field.


Guptill, McCullum, Williamson, Taylor, Ryder, Brownlie, Vettori, Young, Southee, Bracewell, Martin


The Keys For New Zealand to Win


After watching the supreme lack of technique in the batting. It make you think that the Kiwis have little hope in this game.


Which rankled all the Kiwi fans in the knowledge, that all of the top 7 have in their careers have shown an ability at Test level, but showed zero application. As fans, you do not mind a Team or player failing because they are over matched, but if they fall, and then look as though they have not a care in the World.


Well, excuse my French, but it pisses you off!


If they can rediscover that care, and couple it with some application and real temperament. Then a renaissance is not out of the question in this game. In the knowledge that the Australian attack in the 1st Test was impressive, but made to look like the West Indies from the mid 80's with some of the ridiculous play from the Kiwi batsmen.


On the bowling side of things. The first thing that needs to happen is a return to what characterises New Zealand in all forms of the game in regards to stellar fielding. In the 1st Test, this was so lacking, and duly the big hearted, but low on threat Kiwi bowling was made to look as toothless as a collection of Gummy Joes.


If this comes together, and with the support of a touted sporting pitch, the bowling has the potential to upend the Aussie batting line up.


Leading to the chance of a miracle win.


Prediction


 I have supreme respect for Australias recent resurgence, but I am not yet buying into it as the reality of the Team, and where it stands in the game.


Though, after the 1st Test, I wouldn't have faith in the Kiwis in a 5 day match against the Institute of the Blind.


Meaning, a Aussie victory propelled by the Kiwi inadequacies.

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